Have you ever had one of those moments during service when God nudges you so hard that you think you might fall out of your seat because of it?
That happened to me yesterday as Vince ran up and down the aisle-way with a microphone asking people to share what they were thankful for as we come upon Thanksgiving 2017.
People shared so many different things ranging from cancer survival, addiction recovery, family members returning home, people were thankful for freedom, and for God answering prayers with miracles. It was beautiful to hear!
I remember talking to God during this time saying something along the lines of:
“Jesus, I just don’t understand! See…if you answered our prayer for children you would get so much praise from Chris and I. Look at everyone sharing what you have done for them! We would sing your name from the rooftops (even though we are both afraid of heights!) We would never stop praising you for that little miracle. We would be so grateful…People would hear how amazing you are because you came through for us! I just don’t understand what you are waiting on?”
In that moment, I was nudged hard to start asking a different question.
“What if people could hear how amazing Jesus is because of how He walked with us through this season MORE than Him actually answering the prayer with a yes?”
Bear with me on this…. what if God’s goodness, grace, and love would shine brighter in this season of waiting? What if God is calling me to be just as grateful and thankful during this “no” or “wait” period than if He were to just answer “Yes?"
You might be thinking…Jess we know this already. We need to be thankful and grateful no matter what season we are in. This is easy to say, but that can be super hard to live out when the desires of our hearts are not met yet.
Especially when they are not met the way that you and I THINK they should be met.
Transparency here…. I can really struggle with this. Especially because I am a bit of a control freak at times, and there have been many ugly cries on this topic. However, this hasn’t changed my love or trust for Jesus. So what can you do?
We can run to scripture when we are struggling, pray for one another, and be in community with one another.
God can do so much more than what we can comprehend!
Ephesians 3:20 (NIV) Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,
God is GOOD, and His plans are GOOD!
Romans 8:28 (NIV) And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
God is working on us daily! We can trust Him with that!
Philippians 1:6 (NIV) being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Today I want to nudge you a bit to be grateful for the things that God HAS blessed you with, and try to find reasons to be grateful for the season you are in at the moment.
Whatever you are struggling with this Holiday Season, can I tell you that Jesus wants to walk with you through it? As you are waiting for whatever it is that you have been praying like crazy for, Jesus knows and hears your prayers as He hears mine. He wants to use scripture, prayer, and community to come alongside you in this season. He might be challenging those of you that have come out of a season to be the light at the end of the tunnel for someone else.
If you are struggling, find someone to talk to. If you are not in a small group, or serving in a ministry with others, I'd be happy to chat with you about that. If you relate to this specific topic, I’d be happy to talk to you. (Big disclaimer though: Realize ugly cries are permitted if you hang with me on this subject because I'm in that boat as well.) Just don’t go it alone. How can we be praying for you? Our team would be happy to do that for you! Tell us at http://shelbychurch.org/prayer
What are things that you do to have an attitude of gratitude in a season of waiting?